Medical Interventions Can Cascade Quickly

Posted in , , on 8-20-12

Medical Interventions Can Cascade Quickly

Have you read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? *Spoiler alert* Basically, when you give the mouse a cookie, he will want  some milk. Then he’ll want a napkin, and then, and then, and then…until the end of the book. Once the cycle starts it doesn’t end. This is the same concept I think of every time I think of the potential pitfalls of non-essential medical interventions during labor.

You relinquish to one unnecessary medical intervention, it leads to another. The list of interventions, their effects, and how they can lead to the next step is endless. Every intervention brings risks, some of them quite serious. Some even have the potential to change your birth plan.

The most common intervention (inducing) can have an negative affect on the outcome of your birth. Studies have shown that induction increases your chances of many other interventions, including:

  • vacuum or forceps-assisted vaginal birth

  • cesarean surgery

  • problems during labor, such as fever, changes in fetal heart rate, and shoulder dystocia

  • the laboring woman’s use of an epidural or other drugs for pain relief

  • low birth weight

  • admission to the NICU

  • increased length of hospital stay for the mother and/or the baby

  • A fussy baby

  • A baby that doesn’t breastfeed well

According to Erika Obert and Precious Passage Birth Services, “Obstetric interventions can be life-saving procedures for women and babies. Technological advances, improved surgical techniques and better anesthetics have ensured that the small percentage of women who need this kind of help receive the best possible care.

“Once the natural process of labor and birth has been disturbed, especially if there is no actual medical emergency, there is a significant risk that the unwelcome side effects of the treatment will make further intervention necessary to remedy the problem”

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